Lessons

The Wisdom Within Each Moment


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New Lessons – The Wisdom Within Each Moment

I have been writing these little stories for close to twenty five years.  I published some in a book and have read them over and over. You would think that by now I’d get it. Everything, absolutely everything that happens to us is an opportunity to learn and grow. Everyone we have ever met, from our family members to the stranger in the elevator is a significant part of our lives. And in my case, my kitties past and present, offer lessons every day. The weather, the traffic, what kind of job we do, where we live, our illnesses and on and on are blessings designed as serendipitous events that all happen for a reason. One of the mistakes we make is dwelling on the why of everything. We look at the happenings in our lives, the people and events, with a microscope. What did I do wrong is the most popular. Also there is, what if I had made a different decision? Then whatever it is wouldn’t have happened.  It is so hard, at least for me, to remember to not react this way. The why or who doesn’t matter as much as how we react to the situation. I still struggle with this. I have to practice every day by reminding myself to accept what happens and just plain deal with it the best way I can. I have to remind myself not to panic, get angry or sad, or generally make things worse. Because we usually spend a lot of time making things worse. I don’t know why I have spent so much of my life writing these stories. Incredibly I never thought about it before now. I assume it is one of my lessons.

Teresa Sue McAdams, co-creator of “Today’s Journey Tarot”, co-author of “Today’s Journey Tarot, A Traveler’s Guide”, co-author of “Tarot Meditations, A Journal for Self Discovery”, and author of “Lessons, The Wisdom Within Each Moment”

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Making Music (first published May 2013)

When I was a teenager, my parents spent a couple of hours every evening tending to my grandmother; first at her home and then in a nursing home. I spent that time blissfully at home – alone. I would usually play the piano and sing. I made believe that I was performing in some huge concert hall and everyone was cheering and applauding for me. It was great fun. Getting the material however, was a bit of a chore. There wasn’t extra money for sheet music or even records so my only resource was the radio. I didn’t play piano by ear, but I could pick out chords to just about any song I heard. So when I heard a new song that I liked, I would have to wait to catch it on the radio again and again to write down the words (I only got a line or two each time) and memorize the melody. Sometimes it would take weeks to get it completed. Then I would sing it over and over and write the chords into the lyrics as I found them on the piano. It was hard and sometimes frustrating work but I soon had several pretty impressive notebooks full of songs. Today things are different. If I like a song on the radio, within minutes I can hear it again, download it and burn a CD. I don’t play the piano now like I did then, though. Maybe music is just too readily available in our high tech world. When I had to work for it, it meant so much more. It seems anything that comes too easy, just isn’t as much fun.

Teresa Sue McAdams, co-creator of “Today’s Journey Tarot”, co-author of “Today’s Journey Tarot, A Traveler’s Guide”, co-author of “Tarot Meditations, A Journal for Self Discovery”, and author of “Lessons, The Wisdom Within Each Moment”


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New Lessons – Workout Buddy

Most people do not believe in things they can’t see or imagine. If they need a job, they can’t imagine where it will come from. If they want a partner in life and don’t know anyone suitable, they believe there is no one available. For every problem they have, they expect the solution to be something they already know – as if there isn’t anything other than that. These people obviously don’t live with a Siamese cat. Siamese cats are very special for a lot of reasons. For one thing, they have no inkling of a finite Universe. If they persist enough, there is nothing they cannot have. If they have a personality like my Thai, that persistence become manic behavior, not to be ignored, which includes pacing and screaming at the top of his lungs. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me go back a bit. Before Thai was even born, I began doing exercises in my basement. I wanted to work on strength training and flexibility. It went okay at first but like many things we start, it became harder and harder to commit to my daily routine. I often said that I wished I knew somebody who would want to work out with me. It would be great to have someone who would encourage me to exercise.  But I couldn’t think of anyone, so I assumed there wasn’t anyone. In the meantime, this loud, squirmy ball of fur came to live with us.  The first couple of years were spent in perpetual motion – running and playing. Eventually though as he got a little older, Thai realized that there were others living in the house with him.  He became a little interested in what we were doing. I don’t even remember the first day he showed up during my exercises. He was just curious at first, but he liked it that mommy was down on the floor at his level. He was mostly a nuisance.  I had to maneuver around him and he was always in the way. Slowly over the years though, he has gotten into the rhythm of what I am doing. He runs to the room as soon as he hears my video begin, sits patiently during warm-ups and goes nuts when I finally roll out my floor mat. He throws his body down next to me for multiple tummy rubs so I have learned to incorporate tummy rubs into my routine. Lately while I ride my exercise bike, he climbs up the front wheel into my arms. Eventually I scoot him over to his bed, on the chair nearby. I usually work out around the same time most days. If I’m late, Thai begins his pacing and screaming to let me know what time it is. I wouldn’t have, couldn’t have imagined that the best work out buddy ever would be a Siamese cat. He makes sure I exercise every day, distracts me from, well exercising and I get kitty kisses as a bonus. What more could I ask for?

Teresa Sue McAdams, co-creator of “Today’s Journey Tarot”, co-author of “Today’s Journey Tarot, A Traveler’s Guide”, co-author of “Tarot Meditations, A Journal for Self Discovery”, and author of “Lessons, The Wisdom Within Each Moment”

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Morning Routine (first published 2014)

Sometimes during my morning routine, my kitty friend Lily will plop herself down in front of me. I know what she wants. She wants to be brushed. I don’t always have time. My cat friends get more attention than any cats on the planet, but sometimes there are other things I have to do. This morning, there she was tummy up in my way. I had a full day planned but not a strict schedule so I reluctantly succumbed to her desire and began brushing her. As she purred and rolled and snuggled I began to realize that this was more about me than her. Sure she loves to be brushed, but as I brushed and smoothed down her fur I began to relax and enjoy the interaction with her. It seems she only does this on mornings when I’m particularly stressed or rushed. Maybe I’ll be more cooperative with her assessment of things. I think she may not realize when she needs to be brushed, but she does sense when I need to brush her.

Teresa Sue McAdams, co-creator of “Today’s Journey Tarot”, co-author of “Today’s Journey Tarot, A Traveler’s Guide”, co-author of “Tarot Meditations, A Journal for Self Discovery”, and author of “Lessons, The Wisdom Within Each Moment”20150903_191129


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New Lessons – The Talent Show

It is said that we create our own reality. I know this to be true. Whatever we believe will be, is. I should have learned this when I was ten years old, but it took a while for it to sink in. I was always expected to perform in talent shows. I think my mother encouraged this because she had performed as a child. She sang and played the ukulele at church functions and probably for anyone who’d listen. She loved doing that. I, however was not so confident. But a couple of times a year, school or 4-H talent shows would roll around and I was expected to participate. When I was ten, I entered the school talent show. I chose to play a piano piece that was popular at the time – “Last Date” by Floyd Cramer. I practiced and practiced and got it down pretty well. Mother said I should memorize it because it would be more impressive that way. I tried. At home, I could play it all the way through, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to do that on stage. I pleaded with her to let me use my music. She would not give in. The night of the show, I was very nervous of course and tried one last time to convince her that I just could not do it without the music in front of me. I wouldn’t use it, I argued, just have it there in case. Still, she insisted that I could. I knew I couldn’t. I even took the music that night, hoping to slip it onstage without her knowledge, but being the proper stage mother, she was there to escort me on. There were a lot of people in the audience. I walked on that stage knowing that I would not get through the piece, but hoping Mother was right. It started pretty well but there came a point where my fingers just didn’t know what to do next. I froze. Embarrassed beyond belief, I ran off the stage in tears. I was very angry with my mother.  She shouldn’t have made me play it from memory when I knew I couldn’t do it. Funny though, all these years later, I can play the piece from memory today. I guess I really did have it memorized. I just believed I didn’t.

Teresa Sue McAdams, co-creator of “Today’s Journey Tarot”, co-author of “Today’s Journey Tarot, A Traveler’s Guide”, co-author of “Tarot Meditations, A Journal for Self Discovery”, and author of “Lessons, The Wisdom Within Each Moment”

 


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New Lessons – Lily’s New Seat

Our kitty friend, Lily is almost seven years old.  Over those years she has chosen her territory in the house; where she likes to sleep, which window she prefers to look out, and the food bowl and litter box she chooses to use. Being a Taurus, she is rather consistent in her preferences and doesn’t like her routine changed in any way. For almost thirty years, I have sat on the left side of the couch. I don’t know why I chose it to begin with, but no other location offers the same relaxation and convenience to me. A few months ago I noticed Lily sitting in front of the couch and staring at me while I enjoyed my usual comfy spot. This was not her way. She usually slept on the foot stool or snuggled in beside my husband, Ben. It was a bit unnerving having her stare at me like that. After several evenings of this, I mentioned it to Ben. He had noticed that as soon as I got up to go to bed, Lily curled up in my spot. (I am always the first one to leave the couch.) For the life of me I couldn’t figure this out. Why the change in behavior? It only got worse. Instead of just sitting and staring, she began approaching the couch and scolding me, clearly wanting me to move. Since I adamantly believe cats should be indulged in all things, I finally moved over to the center of the couch. Lily triumphantly sprung to my old spot. There are definitely disadvantages sitting there. It is not as easy to reach the side table, where my phone, glasses, TV guide, and glass of water are, but I can reach them. The other side of the couch belongs to Ben and I would hate to uproot him too. It’s not awful sitting in the center though. It offers a little different perspective of the room and I am square in front of the TV. The big plus is a warm, purring kitty by my side with her feet pushing against my leg. Maybe I should have changed seats sooner.

Teresa Sue McAdams, co-creator of “Today’s Journey Tarot”, co-author of “Today’s Journey Tarot, A Traveler’s Guide”, co-author of “Tarot Meditations, A Journal for Self Discovery”, and author of “Lessons, The Wisdom Within Each Moment”

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Outside Kitties (first published 2-14-15)

I think the most powerful words in any language are thank you. These words can change the most difficult and trying situation. They can bring us more than desire ever could. Several years ago our neighbors began feeding a mother cat and her four kittens. These cats had wandered into the neighborhood from who knows where. They were not domesticated and ran from human contact. Soon more cats came and at one time there were at least a dozen feeding in the back yard next door. I was not happy about this situation. Often the cats would go without food and their only source of water was our bird bath – which I kept full for them. The neighbors did provide a shelter and had the original five spayed and neutered, but I worried about them a lot. My inside cats live like royalty in comparison. Almost ten years ago, our neighbors moved. I think they tried to round up the cats and move them to a friend’s farm, but two could not be caught. They were left without anyone to feed them. I was furious that anyone would take on the responsibility of an animal and walk away when it became inconvenient. (Don’t get me started.) I did not want the expense and responsibility of feeding and taking care of outside cats, but very quickly the two cats were begging at our back door. They were a bonded pair of siblings. We could not bear to call a shelter and risk their separation. So now years later our outside kitties are still with us. The two sisters, still walking tails entwined down the driveway and a third who doesn’t live here full time but enjoys our cuisine. I fought this, I resented being left with it, I grieved over their plight, I worried myself crazy on cold winter nights even though we installed heating pads in their house. But something changed me. Our third outside cat, Buster we call him, always waits a safe distance when we pour food into his bowl. As we pass by to let him eat, he makes a sound – two syllables which do not resemble a meow at all.  He looks into our eyes (a rarity for a feral cat) and says what sounds like “thank you”. I still worry about them. I still wish that all cats everywhere were safe and warm in loving homes. But for Buster, Miss Kitty, and Whitey what we give is all they need and their appreciation melted my resistance.  I feel privileged to be helping them.

Teresa Sue McAdams, co-creator of “Today’s Journey Tarot”, co-author of “Today’s Journey Tarot, A Traveler’s Guide”, co-author of “Tarot Meditations, A Journal for Self Discovery”, and author of “Lessons, The Wisdom Within Each Moment”